Small businesses can get a big boost from utilizing public relations. Creating a public relations campaign to fit the needs of your small business will require focus, time and effort; but doesn’t have to bust your budget. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when considering a public relations campaign:
- Create a press kit. Your business press kit should be a digital compilation of background documents including executive bios, headshots, hi-res logos, ‘about us’ information, and videos to introduce yourself to the media. If you sell products, product descriptions with hi-res images and videos should also be included. The easiest place to store your press kit is in a sharable, online folder, like DropBox. This way, if the media ever requests your press kit you can send a link for download- rather than a very large file. Folders within press kits should be clearly labeled, and easy to navigate for the media.
- Set up Google Alerts for your business, your competitors and any topics that you could be considered and expert on. It is important to be aware of how your competitors are positioning themselves, and to know whenever you are mentioned in the media. Consider setting up free Google Alerts for your business, competitors, as well as a few key industry words. This will allow you to stay up on any breaking news, which can be a pivotal time to reach out to media to secure opportunistic stories. If you receive an alert for an article you really enjoy, you may want to consider reaching out to the author to compliment them on the story, and offer to lend your expertise for any future features.
- Be pro-active and look for opportunities to position yourself as an expert. Connect with your local TV stations, newspapers, bloggers and social media influencers to explore opportunities to lend your expertise to a column, story or article. Writing content is mutually beneficial, and if you are lucky enough to secure a column online it may also help boost your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
- Draft an opinion-editorial. Is there something happening in the media that you want to comment on or in an area of your expertise? Are you launching a new product, or noteworthy marketing campaign? Maybe you have an opinion that you need to get out there, in your own words? Consider drafting an op-ed to share your news or opinion. A quick Google search will give you guidelines for submitting op-eds to different media outlets. Be sure to look up the Editor of editorials for the news outlet you are looking to be featured in.
- Take time each day to find opportunities to connect with the media, bloggers and social media influencers.Start by running a quick Twitter, facebook or Google search of journalists putting out queries- or subscribing to HARO (Help a Reporter Out), a series of free daily e-mail alerts that connect journalists on deadline with relevant experts and brands.
As important as public relations is to building and sustaining a successful business, small business owners are busy and often good public relations practices fall by the wayside.
If you are short on time but looking to build brand awareness, consider working with a PR agency, that focuses primarily on servicing small business clients. Not all public relations agencies require hefty annual retainers. Many PR professionals will work with small businesses on a month-to-month or project basis.
If you are looking for a PR agency in the greater Tampa area, be sure to check out ARK Public Relations at arkpublicrelations.com. Small businesses often have the best stories to tell, let us help you tell yours.